Are TLAs more trouble than they're worth?
- By: Pooja Goel, Wai Yoong
Question — What do the common abbreviations RBKA, LECLE, OGD, THR, MUA, ORIF, TAH, BSO, TIPS, and ERCP stand for?
Despite the many advances in technology, most of the communication between health professionals continues to be through handwritten medical notes. The cliché of the doctor's illegible handwriting remains evident, and attempts by colleagues to decipher this (through logic and lateral thinking) are made more difficult by the number of abbreviations and acronyms still commonly in use.
Because of the increasing number of medical cases being taken to court, more and more time is taken up writing in patients' notes, and there is more emphasis on documentation and providing evidence of practice. At the same time, however, the efficiency of the NHS continues to be scrutinised, with pressures to fulfil government targets on waiting times. Many professionals find they are spending increasing amounts of time on administrative tasks.
A study published